The US Defense Department said compulsory anthrax vaccination of military personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea will resume within the next 30 to 60 days. Anthrax immunization is said to raise the risk of infertility, multiple sclerosis and lupus. Although people have died following a vaccination, the Pentagon says the link between anthrax immunization and death is not evident.
Anthrax immunization has been a controversial subject – it has even been halted by a federal court.
As well as military personnel, defense contractors in those three countries will also be immunized.
According to William Winkenwerder Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the vaccine is effective and safe. He said the only side effects are swelling, redness, flu-like symptoms, some pain and malaise. “In all the studies we have performed, looking very, very thoroughly at the vaccine, there is no increase in mortality, there is no increase in morbidity, there is no increase in hospitalizations,” he said.
Mark Zaid, a lawyer who has challenged the immunization program, said there is no scientific proof that the vaccine is effective in human beings.
Meryl Nass, M.D., Director of the Military and Biodefense Vaccine Project (MBVP), said “America’s military service members deserve to be fully informed about the deaths, chronic illness and disabilities that many soldiers have experienced following anthrax vaccination. The FDA-approved anthrax vaccine package insert acknowledges only six deaths and two dozen autoimmune diseases associated with the vaccine, but the FDA has not directed the manufacturer to update the insert in nearly five years. More than 1200 anthrax vaccine-injured soldiers have been treated at the congressionally mandated Vaccine Healthcare Centers, which DOD has attempted to close. They are suffering with crippling, life-altering illnesses that are being swept under the rug. We know the anthrax vaccine is reactive and we suspect it is especially risky for those with hereditary and other risk factors that DOD refuses to investigate or acknowledge.”
Soldiers who refuse to be vaccinated may face a court martial.
Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today